Friday, April 26, 2013
Canada’s Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has targeted rare heritage sheep at Wholearth Farmstudio owned by Montana Jones for years now. Shropshire sheep are among the rarest – and CFIA could aid in their extinction with their recent eradication efforts over unfounded fears of a sickness called scrapie.
They killed her pregnant ewes to find out if they were healthy. ???? Worse yet, after a house raid, CFIA is convicting her and others in the same boat like Michael Schmidt for conspiracy among other criminal offenses. She faces 12 years in jail and $1.5 million in fines!
The above incidents stem from a CFIA claim three years ago that a ewe she sold years further back had scrapie. Hearsay. No signs, no symptoms, for a disease that poses no harm to humans – but they killed her ewes anyway. After death, tests came back negative as Montana knew they would.
Heritage breeds experienced a major reduction after the introduction of large-scale industrial farming.
In the past 15 years, 190 breeds of farm animals have gone extinct worldwide, and there are currently 1,500 others at risk of being wiped out. Within the last ten years alone, 60 breeds of cattle, goats, pigs, horses and poultry have become extinct.
Apparently, there are only less than 100 of these sheep left in Canada! Montana is actually doing a great service to Canada by preserving their bloodline for no profit, but CFIA seems intent on wiping them off the earth and erasing biodiversity.
Calling out a disease or bacteria (like crying “Wolf!”) is a common M.O. of the FDA and previous cases of CFIA where they killed hundreds of rare goats and sheep – that of course later tested healthy. Why do they kill first, ask questions later? Why are small farms expected to fork over years of hard labor and valuable animals when large-scale corporate farms get the green light even if caught abusing animals or when their food sickens a lot of people? In fact, they lobby Congress for laws to make sure no one finds out negative practices and to paint animal activists as terrorists. Unfortunately, when word gets out for testing, people don’t want to do business with the farm – at least when it comes to scrapie, a rare occurrence. No income for quarantined farms.
Well-known farmer activist Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms lent his support by submitting a letter for CFIA to read:
I have been apprised of your intent to annihilate the Wholearth flock of Shropshire sheep owned by Montana Jones and it is deeply troubling. Without credible tests that empirically prove the existence of scrapie, to proceed with the planned extermination is both unscientific and tyrannical. Agenda-driven extermination tactics have been used throughout history to purge alternative genes, both human and animal. This deprives future generations of traits that may provide salvation from yet-to-be-revealed diseases. Please follow reason and real science as you approach this rare flock of sheep.
She can’t take the destruction and harassment. The loss and the legal fees for her upcoming criminal trial will put her out of her farm and home – she reaches out for help (see below). In just a few days an outpouring of support helped her reach $35,000 of a $50K goal. She continues to update and thank those that have helped her, adding:
Many years ago I had a vision of creating a sustainable farm not just for animals and vegetables but for people too. They would discover the importance of rare heritage breeds, feel organic soil under their feet, learn to grow real food in an heirloom garden and work with the wonder of animals. I imagined an educational demonstration farm where one could just breathe, wander the fields, create art and music, share amazing meals and slow down enough to appreciate.
Isn’t it also interesting that right around the same time America targets their heritage breeds, Canada places theirs in the cross-hairs? Mark Baker of Baker’s Green Acres is a well-known American example. The DNR working with other Michigan agencies (and obviously the Pork Producers) went on a heritage pig rampage (Kill the pig…kill the pig) but Bakers wouldn’t destroy them or let them. So the USDA and DNR made sure that they could do nothing with them by blocking them from taking them to slaughter. So friends had to come over to do it and it was given away to the hungry. And of course, feeding the homeless in America is a big no-no now.
It’s up to all of us to change the unreasonable policies that prevent our food and farming freedom. – Montana Jones
How you can help her – and please spread the word:
Submit a letter of support and sample letter to Canadian government:
Published on 21 Apr 2013
Thank-you so much… please help spread word of this situation and share.
~ ~ ~
I’m Montana Jones.
Apparently I am FARMED and dangerous…
But I am not a criminal. I’m a shepherd, farmer and writer who has been preserving rare breed Shropshire sheep for the last 12 years, and farming various other heritage breeds and vegetables for the last 30.
Then, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) descended …uninvited… into my life, onto my farm, and forever changed the course of both. They killed my beautiful ewes and their unborn lambs to find out if they were healthy. They were.
Now they are dead.
The CFIA and Minister of Agriculture ignored over 5,000 people who signed a petition to stop the killing. Their massacre of my rare genetics resulted in the Shropshire population falling to fewer than 80 heritage females left in all of Canada.
The domino effect since they appeared has been devastating, it’s been a downward spiral from their first invasion. I keep telling myself “There are worse things”, and hang on.
Now the CFIA has charged myself, raw milk activist farmer Michael Schmidt and 2 others with numerous criminal charges including conspiracy, all for allegedly trying to save Canada’s heritage sheep.
I now have no income, no transportation, and am battling depression and post traumatic stress. I’m facing foreclosure and an astonishing $100,000. dollar legal defense fee for the upcoming criminal trial.
If convicted, I face up to 12 YEARS IN JAIL and fines of $1.5 million.
It’s not easy to admit, but pride aside—I need help.
It’s up to all of us to change unreasonable policies that prevent our food and farming freedom and destroy our agricultural biodiversity. We must protect our heritage breeds, our heirloom seeds, my farm…other small farms.
This dismal chapter of mine is just a detail—I’m not going to lay down just because I’m cold or broke or steamrollered by government. I am standing up, despite them.
If I lose the farm—they win. And that would be another of their many wrongs.
Please help me keep my home – and keep the farm going. Any help you can offer WILL make a difference!
You can find the whole story on ShropshireSheep.org/FarmedAndDangerous or on the Save Our Shrops Facebook Page . With your help, we’ll breathe life back into this farm once again.
Thank-you so much… please help spread word of this situation and share.
Farm Wars – CFIA raids small farm, culls rare heritage Shropshire sheep
Published on 5 May 2012
EPISODE V: The Empire Strikes BAA-ack!!!
It is a period of civil war. Rebel Farmers, striking from a hidden base, have claimed their first victory against the evil Agri-biz Empire.
With no evidence of disease or infection, the Empire descended upon planet Wholearth with an Order of Destruction to cull 41 perfectly healthy, heritage Shropshire sheep.
During the battle, rebel spies managed to rescue 31 Shropshire’s from the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the SCRAPIE ERADICATION PROGRAM, a devastating plan with enough bureaucracy to wipe out an entire species.
Just when the alliance thought they were safe, the Empire’s sinister agents declare a positive infection: A claim reeking of deception and foul play.
In spite of a pending judicial review, and without conclusive evidence or time for impartial review of their findings, the Empire swoops in with an amendment to the original order, naming nine more ewes for depopulation.
Wholearth Farm is under siege again…